Performing Arts Medicine, 3rd ed.Medical Problems of Performing Artists

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Hearing Loss in Singers and Other Musicians

Robert Thayer Sataloff, Joseph Sataloff, Mary J. Hawkshaw
From: Performing Arts Medicine, 3rd ed.: Chapter 5 © 2010; page: 87

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Abstract: Singers and other musicians depend on good hearing to match pitch, monitor vocal or sound quality, and provide feedback and direction for adjustments during performance. Although well-trained musicians are usually careful to protect their voices or hands, they may subject their ears to unnecessary damage and thereby threaten their musical careers. Musical instruments and performance environments are capable of producing damaging levels of noise. This chapter discusses the causes of hearing loss and its classification (conductive, sensorineural, mixed, or central hearing loss), the evaluation to establish the site of damage in the auditory system, the role of occupational hearing loss in musicians, including its occurrence rates, risk factors, prevention, and treatment. The published literature from the 1960s to today is carefully reviewed to define the incidence, risks, and nature of music-induced hearing loss in musicians, to establish damage-risk criteria, and to identify practical means of noise reduction and hearing conservation.

Last Updated: 5 / 2010

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